A Project that Brings Teens Together
At the Ellsworth Public Library (in Ellsworth, Maine) we have a small, but dedicated Teen Advisory Board. They are willing to help out with anything from craft prep to after school programs. During the meetings we talk about upcoming volunteer opportunities (as well as brainstorming for future teen programs and watching the occasional YouTube video). This is great because the TAB members can get their required volunteer hours and I have a wonderful, helpful group of teens to work with.
However, I have been looking for a project they could relate to. This year, I think I found it–the CSLP Teen Video Challenge. Inspired by the teen slogan for CSLP 2014 (“Spark a Reaction”) the teens have written, directed, and filmed a short video to promote summer reading. We happen to have a couple of aspiring film makers in the group who are studying video at a local technical school, Hancock County Technical Center, so we partnered with them to produce the video.
Making the video during TAB meetings increased attendance and brought us together as a group. The video students had the opportunity to shine—demonstrating their knowledge and helping the rest of us bring our vision to life. We filmed the majority of our video in the youth room (a small room that lacks teen friendly furniture and teen personality) and after we were finished, I was happy to see the teens lingering in the space. Our goal driven, fast-paced afternoon slowed down and became relaxed and casual. One girl noticed the change and said “So, are we just hanging out now?” TAB is a diverse group, with members from different grades and social groups. But on that afternoon, they were “just hanging out” together, being teens.
Thank you very much to Annika Black, who is our state’s representative for the video contest. This is Maine’s first year participating in the program and I appreciate all of her hard work to get this up and running!
Submitted by Abby Morrow